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Case Study on Girls' Education: Background and Plan

Case Study on Girls' Education: Background and Plan

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Contemporary Approaches to Education: doctoral course at Johns Hopkins University School of Education EdD program (online) - 2014
Contemporary Approaches to Education: doctoral course at Johns Hopkins University School of Education EdD program (online) - 2014

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Contemporary Approaches to Educational Problems Spring 2014
 
Doctor of Education Program
 
ED.855.716 Contemporary Approaches to Educational Problems
 
Case Study 2 Assignment: Girls’ Education and Millennium Development Goals
 
MARCH 3, 2014: CASE STUDY BEGINS During Weeks 7-12 of the
Contemporary Approaches to Educational Problems
(CAE) course, you will
examine a global Girls’ Education Case Study focused on one of three themes: equity and access,
public health, or emergency education. This second case study provides you with an opportunity to
(1) examine global issues in girls’ education from theoretical, contextual, and empirical perspectives;
(2) augment your understanding of how non-
governmental organizations (NGOs) address girls’
education; (3) collaborate directly with a selected NGO facing a challenge in its work to educate girls; and (4) apply the skills being acquired in
Research Methods and Systematic Inquiry I
(RMI) to refine a
Problem of Practice (POP). You will also investigate artifacts from your chosen NGO’s website and
additional readings to examine your chosen focus area. The goal of this assignment is for you to
engage as a team to author a paper articulating a contextual framework for a POP in the area of girls’
education.
 
Paper Framework 
 
In your introduction, discuss
the NGO’s efforts to address its theme (equity and access, public health,
or emergency education), the population served, and the challenge it faces. Orient the reader by providing a brief description of the NGO including its mission, vision, history, and other necessary contextual information.
 
The paper must reflect interactions between your team and the NGO, including discussions and research
to understand the challenge that the NGO is facing as well as the NGO’s context. The paper should also
be suppor
ted through additional research to support your team’s work on the Advocacy Progress Planner. Describe the team’s research focus, approach, and key findings based upon the theoretical,
contextual, and empirical foundation synthesized from the literature. This section will be followed by research conclusions, such as new perspectives, recommendations, or considerations.
 
The paper will conclude with a summary of findings, the Advocacy Progress Planner report (described in detail later in this document), and team products to be delivered to the NGO. Include references in proper APA format and additional attachments (images, artifacts, organizational documents, interviews, and websites) to support your perspectives, recommendations, and/or considerations for future research.
 
 
Contemporary Approaches to Educational Problems Spring 2014
 
Guidelines to Follow
Orientation to the NGOs
 
In regions of the world where educating girls is a persistently daunting challenge, NGOs must make choices. Their work may be driven by research and an obvious need, but the tyranny of the urgent may prevent them from sustaining that research or exploring that need further. Many NGOs rely upon human agency and direct work with local populations, but they also acknowledge that an ear to the ground may not be enough to juggle complex variables, explore a theory of change, or create a plan to demonstrate impacts. They are uniquely qualified to draw linkages between problems and needed services on the ground, but they may not have access to research insights fundamental to guiding or advocating policy change. In short, NGOs are effective in the
 practice
 of educating girls, but crave the perspectives derived from a deeper understanding of the
 problem
.
Preparing to Meet the NGO:
Teams will participate in a synchronous session during Week 8 with an NGO they have selected from a short profile of NGOs and their challenges.
 
Your team’s conversation with the NGO should be designed to get to know each other, establish trust,
and then focus on both the challenge and the orientation of the research. Teams should plan their conversation with the NGO personnel. The questions below can serve as a guide for your interview with the NGO:
 
1.
 
Are you interested in how other countries have addressed issues of girls’ education vis a vis
your focus area (of access, public health, or emergencies)? 2.
 
What research have you done, or feel you need to do, in order to articulate and address the challenge you have identified? 3.
 
What are the processes by which successful girls education programs and practices in one region might be valuable to, and take root in, another region? 4.
 
What thoughts do you have about building the capacity necessary to evaluate your work and demonstrate impacts? 5.
 
What tools and resources have been successful in measuring the effects of girls’ education on
a given community? 6.
 
In diverse environmental, political-economic, social, and cultural contexts, how have you
considered threats to your work in girls’ education?
7.
 
What research might be essential for how your girls’ education effort can be sustained,
replicated, communicated, and measured? 8.
 
What research is needed to explore and address the opportunities and challenges of communicating these impacts to policy makers, planners, field workers, and community organizations? 9.
 
What successful methodologies and best practices might be necessary to negotiate power relationships and stakeholder pressures?
 
 
Contemporary Approaches to Educational Problems Spring 2014
 
Expectations for Teams
It is impossible to research every component of girls’ education or develop a comprehensive Theory of
Change (TOC) in six weeks. This global collaboration is designed to focus on a particular NGO challenge and define the parameters for developing a TOC that addresses it. The team and the NGO will determine what is achievable during the period of the Case Study. Teams will also use The Advocacy Progress Planner as a model to guide their work.
Instructions for Advocacy Progress Planner
 
We will use a free, online, collaborative theory of change tool developed by the Aspen Institute: The Advocacy Progress Planner. The tool focuses on two options: (1) Improved Services and Systems, and (2) Positive Social and Physical Conditions. The report generated by the Advocacy Progress Planner will serve as critical documentation for the paper due at the end of Session 5 (Week 12). All resources below are also available in, or accessible through, the ELC.
 
 
Each team needs to designate a team member to register for a free account at http://planning.continuousprogress.org and start a new plan;
 
The person who has registered for the program will then invite team members as collaborators by clicking on a page entitled Save & Share Your Plan: http://planning.continuousprogress.org/app/save/share. Make certain to choose the last bubble on that page: My Plan + Notes + Comments. Each team member must have access to
the team’s plan;
 
The entire components of the Advocacy Progress Planner are available here: http://planning.continuousprogress.org/sites/default/files/app_definitions.pdf 
The team will share their iterative plan with their designated NGO ideally through email followed up by a synchronous discussion during Week 8. This plan should provide an appropriate theoretical framework and be informed by the empirical literature. The Advocacy Progress Planner, like all TOCs, is iterative. It is neither a prescriptive nor comprehensive tool rather than a framework for (1) guiding the collaboration with the NGO, and (2) the focused
theoretical, contextual, and empirical research the team will conduct to address the NGO’s challenge.
For many NGOs, this process of undergoing an analysis of its challenge
 –
 and the research that emerges from it
 –
 can be transformative. Team members should read the Theory of Change (TOC) document (see Readings Tab) prior to engaging with the Advocacy Progress Planner. As you read this document, pay particular attention to the example on page 2 of the document. In
summary, the team paper synthesizes research reflecting the global context of girls’ education and
discoveries made through the employment of the Advocacy Progress Planner.
Ongoing Collaboration with the NGO using the Advocacy Progress Planner
Until the final debriefing session during Weeks 14 or 15, further collaboration and contact with the NGO should be discussed at the initial meeting and a contact person should be designated on both sides. Mode of collaboration, whether by email or video conferencing, should be agreed upon by both parties. Collaboration should focus on questions and clarifications and research findings connected to the global

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